Baptist Home to build new campus in Ashland

The Baptist Home is in the early stages of developing a Central Missouri campus on 73 acres north of Ashland on U.S. 63.

The fourth site would be an integrated Continuum of Care Residential Community, including cottage-style facilities, independent living, assisted living and intermediate care.

The not-for-profit organization currently is in the planning stages, consulting with a civil engineer, as well as working with the Boone County Resource Management on zoning and infrastructure.

The next step will be to hire an architect. Then, a capital campaign to raise the funds for construction.

The multi-phase project will occur over several years. The first independent living units may open as soon as mid-2015.

When fully developed, the campus will include up to five 20-bed assisted living units, up to two 20-bed intermediate care units, and as many duplexes and quadplexes for independent living as the property allows.

At the center of the campus will be a community center with administrative offices and recreational facilities.

The population could reach 200, and the new facilities could provide more than 80 jobs.

“There is a demand for our homes and the benevolent care we provide,” Long said. “There is usually a waiting list for our independent living and assisted living facilities.”

A date to begin receiving applications for the Central Missouri facility has not been set. However, several people already have expressed their interest, he said.

The Baptist Home celebrated a centennial of ministry in 2013. Within the past few years, the admission policy has changed to allow people of other Christian faith groups.

Long referred to Galatians 6:10: “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

“We believe our development in Central Missouri will have a positive social and economic impact on all of the communities in the region,” Long said.

Although the campus will be private, Long expects able residents to be involved in the surrounding communities.

The Baptist Home began in 1913 with the Arcadia Valley facility in Ironton, which today has 126 beds ranging from skilled nursing to independent living.

A second home opened in

Chillicothe in 1988, offering 70 beds for intermediate care through independent living.

And the Ozark site opened in 1997 with 93 intermediate care through independent living units.

Each site is responsible for its own fundraising, mostly through staff and volunteers.

The Baptist Home also sponsors The House of Mercy in Belarus, where it helped to purchase and renovate a building as a nursing home. The organization continues to support this work, particularly by assisting seminary students in Eastern Europe pursuing senior adult ministry.

“Our mission begins in the local communities we serve, then we reach out to communities across our state, nation and internationally,” said Steven Long, administrator.

Long began his ministry in 1984, serving small churches and then as a director of missions. With the Missouri Baptist Convention, he served as North Missouri Team Leader and Congregational Vitality Consultant.

Most recently, he was founding administrator at the Marceline Health Center and director of planning and development for the Family Health Center of Boone County. Long has been on The Baptist Home board of trustees for three years and was hired as the founding administrator of the Central Missouri Campus in January.

He and his wife, Joyce, who will be married 40 years this summer, will move from Marceline to Mid-Missouri.

Long has lived in rural communities all his life.

“These communities are great for developing many close friends and knowing nearly everyone,” he said. “You celebrate as a community when individuals and families celebrate, and you help each other in times of need. At the Central Missouri campus, I have a vision for care giving and community living.”

Long looks forward to sharing that vision with pastors and churches in mid-Missouri. He is available to speak to individuals, small groups and churches interested in the local campus development.

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